One Tree Woodwork

Custom woodworking and art

On a razors edge

Turned an older file of mine into a knife this past weekend. I have made plenty of handles and sheaths for knives but never blades.It turns out that the majority of metal files are made out of a steel that also makes a pretty descent blade. For the most part files are made from high carbon steel and case hardened, so in order to cut and shape them into blades you must first anneal the blade which is essentially heating the metal to a very high temperature than allowing it to cool slowly. After which you can then cut and shape it with a basic metal-cutting wheel installed into a hand-held grinder. I decided for my first homemade blade I would do a small skinner type knife. I wanted to keep some of the files texture intact on the blade for several reasons, one I think it’s pleasing to the eye two I think its cool to pay homage to the original intent of a material when recycling and thirdly I thought it would be cool to be able to sharpen the blade on my axe with the spine of the knife. After the shaping of the blade its then necessary to then temper the blade to harden the now soft metal which requires you again to heat it to an extreme temperature which for most knifes the critical temperature is when the metal looses its magnetism at which point you quench the metal into a substance like oil. Some knife builders suggest to do this several times in order to get the best qualities out of the metal which translates into a metal hard enough to take a good edge yet soft enough not to be brittle. I have much to learn about blade making but find the process very interesting.

Handle was made from figured sycamore with mother of pearl inlay and on the blade and tang I experimented with putting different textures on the steel hammered,grooved,stippled and then leaving the spine with the original file texture.

After finishing the knife I was able to sharpen one of my small hatchets with the spine of the knife. Art+Recycle+dual purpose tool= Happy Tohner

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.
 Bertrand Russell quotes

P.S- this knife is too much that is to say there are to many elements at play and like food when working with quality ingredients one should let the ingredients do the talking but I wanted to experiment with several things at once and I find the best way to know if you like something is to try it. I think sometimes knowing what doesn’t work is more important than knowing what does.   keep truckin- T.

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Albert Einstein


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This entry was posted on November 11, 2011 by in General woodworking.


Dad and I built this house in 2011 on a stone outcropping overlooking Lake Somerville. It was just published in the Luxe Life - Houston Chronicle. How you like them apples!

#artisanbuilders#artisanbuilt#customhomes#homebuilders#txbuilders#builditandtheywillcome#houstonchronicle #luxelife Saturday at the lake.

#lakesomerville#welchpark#flyfishing#kayaking #txkayakfishing #getoutside#outsidefamily #takeakidfishing #fish#bethewater Sunday night.Smoked pork butt.Buffalo nickel camp knife. All is well. Happy Valentine’s! Get in where you fit in. I am home. Love - T Rowan who will be turning 9 years old tomorrow received a lego v-dub at his birthday party yesterday. Obsessed with building it from the moment he opened it. This morning my wife goes into his room at 4:45 he has his lap top open,tv on and he is midway through bag 2. He looks up with the eyes of an obsessed builder,a look she has seen many times from (me). With no help from anybody he finished the obsession.... I mean project just before noon. Never got angry or frustrated but most importantly seemed to enjoy the process. A project for 16 year olds and older 1,167 pieces later. He’s grown so much in the last year....which gives me hope maybe it’s not too late for me to grow as well. Determination and obsession can be a very productive duo just don’t forget to enjoy the ride. @lego .
#dadlife TGIF friends!! Still toying with different color combinations for the official Artisan Builders cap. This combo is pretty sweet but I’m going to have a few other color combos made to compare. What do y’all think? Cheers.

#artisanbuilders#customhomes#artisanbuilt#homebuilders#branding#tgif#swag#buildit#builditandtheywillcome Grow your own. Dinner is shaping up!

#victorygarden#growyourown#brussellsprouts#backyardgarden #brenham Saturday expedition. Lake Somerville. 2018.
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